Meath County Council: Star of Gogglebox takes seat in Navan

Emer Tóibín, sister of Aontú leader, was third seat for party nationally


A day of firsts concluded Sunday at the count centre in Simonstown but uncertainty is set to continue over the ultimate make-up of the 40 seat county council in Meath with one councillor becoming the first woman to win seats in two areas.

Sharon Keogan (Ind) topped the poll in Laytown/Bettystown LEA and was also elected on the 10th count in Ashbourne LEA but under current council rules must now decide which area to represent with the other seat filled by a nominee co-opted through a vote by the other members.

However Cllr Keogan is determined to represent both areas herself and may take legal action on the issue.

“I’ll do my damndest to hold the two seats,” she said.

Another history maker was Yemi Adenuga (FG) becoming the first Nigerian woman to take a seat on Meath County Council. A star of Gogglebox Ireland she was elected in Navan LEA on the 11th count and is looking forward to her new role.

“It’s an exciting time for migrants,” declared Cllr. Adenuga.

Emer Tóibín also made history in Navan, winning a seat for Aontú the fledgling party founded by her brother Peadar Tóibín, the ex-Sinn Féin TD.

Delighted brother Peadar said it was a proud moment, seeing his sister elected in his own hometown.

This is the third seat for Aontú nationally, as the party secured places on councils in Wexford and Cavan.

Local Elections


However Mr Tóibín said he had “no doubt the majority of our votes would’ve ended up in a Sinn Féin polling box if they hadn’t forced me out”.

The advent of Aontú, which ran candidates in five LEAs, cut into the Sinn Féin vote with five sitting Sinn Féin councillors losing their seats, including Sinead Burke who is Sinn Féin’s designated general election candidate in Meath West.

The Social Democrats gained their first seat on Meath County Council with Ronan Moore being elected on the sixth count in Trim LEA.

The election saw a return to the council for Labour with the election of first-time candidate Annie Hoey. The past president of the Union of Students in Ireland was elected on the ninth count in the Laytown Bettystown Area.

Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil are still the dominant parties on the council.

Fine Gael lost one seat in the election and is tied on 12 seats with Fianna Fáil which made a gain of 2 seats.

First-time candidate Aisling Dempsey, the daughter of former TD and government minister Noel Dempsey, took a seat in Trim LEA for Fianna Fáil.

While there was an increase in the number of Independent seats from 9 to 10 veteran councillor Tom Kelly (Ind), the outgoing cathaoirleach, lost his seat in Laytown-Bettystown.

(First preference votes: candidates elected in bold)

Ashbourne: 6 seats

Joe Bonner (Independent) - 2,170 (elected count 1)
Alan Tobin (Fine Gael) - 1,565 (elected count 1)
Suzanne Jamal (Fine Gael) - 1,175 (elected count 6)
Sharon Keogan (Independent) - 1,180 (elected count 8)
Conor Tormey (Fianna Fáil) - 817 (elected count 9)
Darren O’Rourke (Sinn Féin) - 501 (elected count 9)

Lisa Mellor (Fianna Fáil) - 721
Joseph Tuite (Aontú) - 523
Paul Nolan (Social Democrats) - 401
John Stillman (Fine Gael) - 389
Aisling O’Neill (Sinn Féin) - 311
Sarah Jane Reilly (Fianna Fáil) - 266

Kells: 7 seats

Seán Drew (Fianna Fáil) - 1,996 (elected count 1)
Sarah Reilly (Fine Gael) - 1,966 (elected count 1)
Johnny Guirke (Sinn Féin) - 1,678 (elected count 6)
Eugene Cassidy (Fine Gael) - 1,413 (elected count 8)
David Gilroy (Independent) - 1,118 (elected count 8)
Paul McCabe (Fianna Fáil) - 1,059 (elected count 8)
Mike Bray (Fianna Fáil) - 1,020 (elected count 8)

Michael Gallagher (Sinn Féin) - 997
Peter Farrelly (Fine Gael) - 970
Oliver Fox (Fianna Fáíl) - 698
Peter Devin (Aontú) - 572
Aaron Byrne (Labour Party) - 380
Séamus McDonagh (Workers Party) - 330

Laytown-Bettystown: 7 seats

Sharon Keogan (Independent) - 2,039 (elected count 1)
Sharon Tolan (Fine Gael) - 1,774 (elected count 1)
Paddy Meade (Fine Gael) - 1,455 (elected count 1)
Annie Hoey (Labour Party) - 1,093 (elected count 9)
Wayne Harding (Fianna Fáil) - 1,196 (elected count 11)
Stephen McKee (Fianna Fáil) - 1,023 (elected count 11)
Tom Behan (Fianna Fáil) - 861 (elected count 11)

Eimear Ferguson (Sinn Féin) - 576
Peter Whelan (Aontú) - 377
Tom Kelly (Independent) - 275
Anthony Connor (Direct Democracy Ireland) - 241
Rob Corr (Social Democrats) - 165
William Lacey (Solidarity-People Before Profit) - 164
Fergal O’Byrne (Sinn Féin) - 162
Patrick Smith (Independent) - 51

Navan: 7 seats

Tommy Reilly (Fianna Fáil) - 1,330 (elected count 1)
Emer Tóibín (Aontú) - 1,286 (elected count 2)
Francis Deane (Independent) - 1,155 (elected count 7)
Eddie Fennessy (Sinn Féin) - 989 (elected count 9)
Padraig Fitzsimons (Fianna Fáil) - 979 (elected count 11)
Alan Lawes (Independent) - 911 (elected count 11)
Yemi Adenuga (Fine Gael) - 640 (elected count 11)

Séamus McMenamin (Green Party) - 614
Sinéad Burke (Sinn Féin) - 562
Ross Kelly (Fine Gael) - 551
Wayne Forde (Independent) - 318
Karen Byrne (Fine Gael) - 268
Stephen Ball (Independent) - 232
Jenny McHugh (Fianna Fáil) - 227
Madeleine Thornton (Fianna Fáil) - 177
Amy McGrath (Social Democrats) - 158

Ratoath: 7 seats

Damien O’Reilly (Fianna Fáil) – 2,198 (elected count 1)
Gillian Toole (Independent) – 1,972 (elected count 1)
Brian Fitzgerald (Independent) –1,810 (elected count 1)
Nick Killian (Independent) –1,549 (elected count 2)
Gerry O’Connor (Fine Gael) –1,224 (elected count 7)
Maria Murphy (Fine Gael) –1,164 (elected count 6)
Deirdre Geraghty-Smith (Fianna Fáil) –579 (elected count 7)

Seán Henry (Independent) – 688
Fergus O’Riordan (Independent) – 481
Bee Flanagan (Fine Gael) –442
Maria Uí Ruairc (Sinn Féin) – 437

Trim: 6 seats

Noel French (Fine Gael) 3,052 (elected count 1)
Joe Fox (Fine Gael) - 1,474 (elected count 1)
Aisling Dempsey (Fianna Fáil) –1,112 (elected count 4)
Niamh Souhan (Fine Gael) – 1,029 (elected count 6)
Ronan Moore (Social Democrats) – 809 (elected count 6)
Trevor Golden (Independent) –603 (elected count 6)

Vera Kelly (Fianna Fáil) – 870
Caroline Lynch (Sinn Féin) – 632
Des Doran (Aontú) – 602
Sinéad Geraghty (Fianna Fáil) –430
Tracy McElhinney (Labour Party) – 237

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